Internet, record labels, music publishers
Tim Westergren, the boss of US-based interactive radio service Pandora, has revealed how much certain artists are earning from their play on his service – or rather how much they are paying. Whether or not artistes have seen any or much of the money as yet remains to be seen. Westergren said that “For over two thousand artists Pandora will pay over $10,000 dollars each over the next twelve months and for more than 800 we’ll pay over $50,000” and noted that with some specific recording like Coldplay, Adele, Wiz Khalifa and Jason Aldean Pandora is already paying over $1 million each and that payments for Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million” annually. Pandora licences all of its rights via collective licensing organisations (in the US, ASCAP and BMI for the music rights and SoundExchange for the recordings) rather than labels and publishers direct. Westergren said “It’s hard to look at these numbers and not see that internet radio presents an incredible opportunity to build a better future for artists. Not only is it bringing tens of millions of listeners back to music, across hundreds of genres, but it is also enabling musicians to earn a living. But Westergen took the opportunity to criticise the fact that terrestrial FM stations do NOT have to pay for sound recording use in the US saying “since Pandora accounts for just 6.53% of all radio listening in the US, it seems fundamentally unfair that other forms of radio that represent much larger shares of US radio listening pay substantially less to artists”. Other artists earning substantial revenues include Ellie Goulding ($609,046), Zac Brown Band ($547,064), Mumford & Sons ($523,902), Bon Iver ($135,223) and The Four Tops ($65,173).